The Boy Friend

  • Directors: Ken Russell
  • Producers: Ken Russell, Harry Benn
  • Writers: Ken Russell, Sandy Wilson
  • Genres: Comedy, Musical, Romance
  • Actors: Twiggy, Christopher Gable, Max Adrian, Tommy Tune, Brian Murphy, Barbara Windsor, Vladek Sheybal

In the Villa Caprice, or Madame Dubonnet’s School for Young Ladies, Maisie and the girls live with the maid, Hortense, and Mme. Dubonnet. Hortense orders a costume for “a Miss Polly Browne” and Maisie and the other girls (Dulcie, Nancy, and Fay) sing the ironic “Perfect Young Ladies” with Hortense. Polly arrives and tells everyone about her made-up boy friend who is “motoring down from Paris” to meet her for the upcoming carnival ball, and sings about “The Boy Friend”. Later, Bobby surprises Maisie and they dance to “Won’t You Charleston With Me?”

Polly’s widowed father, Percy, then arrives at the school to discover that the headmistress is an old flame of his. They sing “Fancy Forgetting” to rekindle the spark. Polly, though a millionaire’s daughter, feels left out because she is the only one of her set who does not have a boyfriend, and she needs a partner for the fancy dress ball. However, when the errand boy, Tony, arrives to deliver her Pierrette costume, they are immediately attracted to each other, and sing “I Could Be Happy With You.” Later, they meet at the beach (after the chorus number “Sur La Plage”) and sing about “A Room in Bloomsbury.” They then kiss and decide to meet at the ball. The comically flirtatious Lord Brockhurst arrives on the scene, leading to a comical meeting with the rigidly mannered Percival Browne. Lord Brockhurst’s domineering wife Lady Brockhurst is also introduced. Percival Browne and Dubonnet then sing “The ‘You-Don’t-Want-To-Play-With-Me’ Blues”.

At the ball, Bobby and the three boys propose to Maisie and the three girls, but the girls reply in unison that “we’ll let you know at midnight” and everyone dances to “The Riviera”. Lord Brockhurst sings “It’s Never Too Late To Fall In Love” with the flirty Dulcie, and is caught out by Lady Brockhurst. Polly confides in Mme. Dubonnet, and they sing “Poor Little Pierrette”. Tony later arrives at the ball and takes Polly by surprise. He asks “May I have this dance, Pierrette?” to which Polly replies, “I’m afraid I can’t dance with a stranger”. He then kisses her to remind her. Polly discovers that Tony is really the son of Lord and Lady Brockhurst, who had left home to try to make his own way in the world. Percy and Mme. Dubonnet announce that they are getting married. The clock strikes midnight, and the girls unanimously say yes to the boys’ proposals. The last scene has everyone dancing as soon as Bobby, with the last spoken line in the play, asks “So how about that Charleston?” The show ends with a reprise of “The Boy Friend” and “I Could Be Happy With You.”

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